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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


120 B I0 GRAPH I C AL SIC ET C H E S. house in Princes Street, where he became instrumental in raising the Earthen Mound, vulgarly called the “Mud Brig,” the east side of which, where it was commenced, may be observed to be a little eastward of the line of Hanover Street, and opposite Provost Grieve’s door, being particularly intended for the convenience of that gentleman. Mr. Grieve died in May 1803. No. LVII. REV. HUGH BLAIR, D.D. OF THE HIGH CHUFtCR, EDINBURGH, THE author of the “Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres,” and of five volumes of universally admired Sermons, whose life and writings have done so much credit to the Scottish pulpit, was born at Edinburgh in 1718. His father was a merchant, and grandson to Robert Blair, an eminent Presbyterian “ Scots Worthy ” of the seventeenth century.’ Young Blair commenced his academical studies in 1730 ; and having been prevented by constitutional delicacy of health from participating much in the pastimes peculiar to youth, he became the more closely devoted to the acquisition of knowledge. His first striking demonstration of talent was exhibited in an “Essay on the Beautiful,’’ written while a student of logic, and when only in his sixteenth year, which, as a mark of distinction, was ordered by Professor Stevenson to be publicly read at the end of the session. In 1741 he was licensed by the Presbytery of Edinburgh ; and his sermons being distinguished at the very outset for correctness of design, and that peculiar chastity of composition which so much distinguished his after productions, his talents as a preacher soon became the topic of public remark. His first charge was the parish of Colessie in Fife, presented to him by the Earl of Leven in 1742; but the very next year he was recalled to the metropolis, by being elected one of the ministers of the Canongate Church. Here, in 1745, on the breaking out of the Rebellion, he preached a sermon warmly in favour of the Hanoverian line, which was afterwards printed, and it is said had the effect of strengthening the loyalty of the people. Blair continued in the Canongate eleven years, during which period he had the satisfaction of attracting an immense congregation from all quarters of the city, aud found himself daily acquiring popularity. In 1754, he was called to In 1754 were published at Edinburgh, “ Memoirs of the Life of Mr. Robert Blair, Minister of the Gospel, aometime at Bangor in Ireland, and afterwards at St. Andrews in Scotland: in two pairts. The first paid wrote by himsel, and the secoud by Mr. William Row, sometime Minister of the Gospel at Cerea.” This work is exceedingly curious.
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